"Sleeping lions deep in space. Awaken to the far reaches of eternal time. Awaken, go beyond the billions of shining stars, and come to Terra."
In a distant future, humankind has destroyed the natural habitat of its homeplanet Terra and colonized other stars. Humanity is controlled by supercomputers, and children are born in test tubes and then handed to suitable foster parents. All children go through a psychological maturity check at the age of 14, where their unnecessary childhood memories are erased. The children, now blank slates for propaganda and brainwashing, are taken to space stations for further education.However, a new race of psychic humans have emerged from the maturity checks; they are called the Mu and and are considered a threat to the strictly controlled society. The Mu stay hidden, trying to rescue as many Mu children as they can, while they long to return to the fabled homeplanet Terra. The Mu have physical defects and are weak compared to normal humans, to balance out their extraordinary superpowers.Toward the Terra, also known as Terra e... or To Terra..., was created by mangaka Keiko Takemiya in the 1970s. It was first adapted for animation as a 1980 film. In 2007 the manga was adapted again, this time as a 24-episode anime series. Thus far, the tropes listed on this article mostly concern the anime version, as the manga, anime and movie all have large differences in plot details and characterisation.Toward the Terra is a Space Opera of epic proportions, covering approximately five decades worth of events. It's an old school sci-fi series with complex Character Development, starting slow but gradually building its story to an extremely emotional ride through the galaxy.Now has a character sheet.
Death Seeker: Implied to be Keith's state of mind in the latter half of the series. Whether it stems from the loss of his only friend to Mu-induced lobotomy, his own growing realization of how trapped by the Superior Domination system both he and humanity are, or a combination of both is never explicitly stated.
DePower: Physis, after what happens to Blue at the end.
Downer Ending: killing off three quarters from the cast in the last episode.
Bittersweet Ending: Arguably, since they did manage to make peace between the Humans and the Mu, destroy the SD system and generally make the world a better(?) place. To make it even better, Jomy and Keith met each other after being reincarnated in the Distant Finale.
The manga, meanwhile, is pretty much a complete downer. Terra is destroyed by Gaia's Vengeance, Physis is last seen surrounded by escapees in what may or may not be their final moments, Tony is utterly broken by the trauma of everything, the other surviving Nazca children have become Energy Beings and simply take him to where he can't see Terra... basically, don't read it if you're having a bad day.
Good Is Not Nice: Glaive Murdock is portrayed as a generally jealous and arrogant jerk, yet he pretends he didn't receive the command to hunt the survivors of Nazca, refuses to Colony Drop a colony full of Mu hostages despite a standing order to do so when attacked, and performs a Heroic Sacrifice to take out the last Megiddo before it can destroy Terra.
Improbable Age: Subverted with Keith's first crew, who seem to be this initially but quickly prove to be inexperienced to the point of incompetence. Played straight with some members of his second crew - Lieutenant Serge, for example, looks about the same age as 17-year-old Matsuka.
Kick the Dog: Nine out of ten of Keith's interactions with Matsuka fall into this category, as does his threat to drop a space station full of Mu into Jupiter's atmosphere. Jomy giving Tony the go-ahead to kill surrendering human soldiers and being willing to let Keith drop the aforementioned space station also count.
Limited Wardrobe: Played straight with the Mu in the anime, but the human characters go through a variety of outfits, usually as they age and/or gain higher military ranks. The manga pretty much averts this trope, however.
No Hugging, No Kissing: Even if there is plenty of Ho Yay, the situation is far too Serious Business for any romance between the main characters except for Tony in the manga, who gets together with Artella, although she ends up dying soon afterwards. However, this isn't the case in the 1980 movie, where Jomy is Tony's dad.
Averted in the manga, where the weapons used are actually described as being nuclear. The Megiddo was invented for the anime.
Even in the anime there is still a very (very) brief mention of arming all weapons, "even nuclear ones" early on in the series. But it's not at all important to the plot, and is easy to miss — curiously, the casual use of nuclear weapons is given no attention at all, probably because it's in space.
Physical God: Type Blue Mu subvert this. They can singlehandly destroy starships, affect people on great distance, create living organism from organic matter via telekinesis (in manga at least) and generally are far more powerful than other Mu. But they may even die after using too much of this power, because their bodies are very fragile. In bad circumstances even normal weapons present a threat.
Spell My Name with an S: Naska/Nazca deserves a mention, but the most notable example is probably the official subtitles' use of "Makka" for Matsuka. This is carryover from the official translation of the manga, which was done without a pronunciation guide and confused the "tsu" character with the small "tsu" which duplicates the next consonant sound, the difference between Makka (マッカ) and Matsuka (マツカ).
The Unfettered: Jomy after destruction of Nazca, even if mostly in anime. He leads the Mu to war, gives Tony the okay to kill surrendering soldiers and is ready to abandon a station full of Mu hostages. Many Mu feel disgusted by these actions. Fortunately, he gets better.)
Unwanted Rescue: Jomy wasn't happy when Blue saved him from having his memories wiped out during his maturity test.
‹bermensch: Nazca children have shades of this, especially in the manga.
Tony: We're no longer human in the true sense. We're a different species, and that's fine. Unlike Jomy, I donít think we need to be human... I donít think we even need a form.